04:07 GMT +306 December 2019
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    The World Needs a Vagina Museum and This Woman Is On It

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    Iceland boasts the world’s first penis museum, and now the English seaside city of Brighton will soon host a museum dedicated to that most culturally iconic of body parts: the vagina.

    Florence Schechter, a self-described ‘science communicator' and comedian, is pushing to open a museum dedicated to the vagina, and the support has been swift and wide-ranging.

    Naturally the jokes were the first herald to the creation of an educational and cultural facility on the hot-button topic, including US late night talk show host Conan O'Brien's one-liner — in a veiled reference to reclusive UK graffiti artist Banksy — describing the museum as a place where visitors would "enter through the gift shop."

    Others pointed out that the front door should feature a large and obvious handle for male visitors who consistently are either unwilling or unable to "find the buzzer."

    But the jokes are just part of a new movement to demystify an organ of the human body that, due to willful ignorance and unnecessary cultural fear, has resulted in misogyny at its least, and outright gender genocide at its worst.

    The often lame attempts at humor have thankfully served to strengthen the movement to see Schechter's vision fulfilled. Many of the jokes are "funny until you realize the point is that vaginas are bad, which is pretty horrible," she observed.

    "The world absolutely needs a vagina museum," she said, cited by the Jerusalem Post.

    Alongside more prosaic displays with various anatomical charts to clarify what the vagina is and how it works, there will be modern and interactive teaching devices on childbirth and contraception.

    Notably, the Vagina Museum will also directly address the many and, in some cases, deeply- and wrongly-held, beliefs connected with the vagina, including female genital mutilation (FGM), a barbaric custom sadly still prevalent in a some Muslim communities that has injured or killed at least 200 million women, according to United Nations data.

    "I want the museum to be part of fighting that," Schechter stated.

    She added that topics including sex trafficking, sexual assault, gay rights and online shaming campaigns — human behavior that many thought would end by the 21st century — would be addressed.

    "I want people to come in, see these issues and say, ‘I have to do something, I've got to change this,'" she added.

    But the humor will not be shelved completely, just used where appropriate, as the museum cafe will offer cupcakes shaped like vulvas (if you don't know what that looks like then please consider making a donation as you will clearly benefit) and delicate cleft pastries with pink cream grooves.

    Naturally there will be art, including a plaster cast sculpture of 400 female vulvas included in a 2008 piece titled ‘The Great Wall of Vagina.'

    The display of vagina-related art will support a debate on beauty standards currently dominated by advertising, media and porn.

    The Vagina Museum, while still in the planning stages, has gained considerable traction, with a website to purchase museum logo objects and other ways to donate. The first physical space for the museum is planned for 2020.

    Like all great ideas whose time has come, the Vagina Museum started small but now has become "my whole life," Schechter said, quipping: "I am now the vagina lady."


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    rape culture, Vagina, Female Genital Mutilation, understanding, museum, biology, education, rape, misogyny, women, science, gender equality, World, Earth, United Kingdom
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